Compared to last week’s “bump in the road,” this week seemed like a MAJOR construction zone that had numerous detours and sometimes seemed unending! It started after the car was loaded and we were ready to leave Tomah to head to Evanston for Mike’s conference, and I couldn’t find the keys to the rental car anywhere! We looked in every inch of the small hotel, all of our luggage, laundry, and garbage – over and over for more than a day!
Did you know losing the keys to a rental car is a HUGE NIGHTMARE? Especially if you’re in a rural area. We had to have the car unlocked by AAA so we could look for the keys in the trunk. No luck, but now that the car was unlocked, we weren’t immediately concerned about getting our things out of the trunk. So Mike closed it and…later we learned that without a key, there is NO WAY to open the trunk. None! So we had to have the car towed 50 miles to a dealership where they would eventually make a replacement key (in a few days) and we could get a new rental car (in a few hours). We had to leave all our belongings behind in La Crosse—the belongings that weren’t already left behind in Superior in Loretta, the RV—so we could get to Mike’s conference in Evanston (a day late and more than a dollar short!).
I won’t get into all the details, but I will share the best ones because I did say I’d share the ugly. Suffice it to say, I threatened to throw my son’s cheese burger out the window when he demanded I bring it directly to his mouth in the back seat; I cried at the checkout line at Walmart where we were buying clothes and sundries to get us through the next 4 days (and one of my sons vomited). Yes, there were other unpleasant exchanges, but none were as good as these two stories, so on we went.
Eventually we arrived in Evanston and after a night’s sleep, we woke up feeling relatively refreshed. We were happy to have a pool for the boys to swim in, cable TV for them to watch cartoons (we don’t have cable at home), and to be near enough to visit the beach at Lake Michigan.
After a couple days here, we have decided to head out a day early so we can cut the long drive to Superior in half and get to La Crosse to get our belongings out of the rental car and head Up North to get Loretta.
It feels like we are heading back on track. In a couple of days, we’ll have a fixed Loretta and ALL our belongings, and we’ll be on our way to South Dakota and soon our first national park!
Many of you have suggested that maybe we are just getting the bad things out of the way so the rest of the trip will be smooth sailing. The scary thing is, as hard as some of these moments have been, I don’t think we’ve hit rock bottom yet! Maybe that’s because I try to see the silver lining in things and bounce back quickly. I hope I am wrong on this and hope that we have nothing but blue skies ahead, but I’m the one that planned this adventure, and I’ll take it all—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Peace.